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An Unusual Read
am 8. September 1999
Set in Ireland, and told in the first person, the story opens with Penelope, called Pen, dealing with the sudden death of her one and only love, Cara Wall.
Cara was away in Greece with some lesbian friends when she was killed in a car accident. Pen is living in the house of Cara's father.
Pen and Cara have been lovers since their Catholic schoolgirl days at Immaculate, and Pen is now a 5th grade teacher at Immac--as it is called by its former students. While their relationship was the grand passion of their lives, we learn that it was riddled with infidelities, and separations.
Cara was becoming very out, while Pen remained very closeted. Also flavoring the story is the fact Cara's older sister, Kate, was actually Pen's first crush, and Kate has now returned from America for Cara's funeral. The book is well-written. Definitely not a fluff piece.
The title refers to all the "hoods" that are a part of Pen's life--girlhood, womanhood, spinsterhood, and now widowhood.